Authors@Google: Brooke Parkhurst and James Briscione, "Just Married & Cooking"

Uploaded by AtGoogleTalks on 28.11.2011

>>Female Presenter: Author's at Google New York are very pleased to welcome James Briscione
and Brooke Parkhurst as they introduce their new cookbook, Just Married and Cooking. Here
we go.
>>James: Yea, here we are.
>>Brooke: [Laughing]
>> Brooke: Thank you guys for coming. Enjoying your lunch hours with us. We really appreciate
>> James: Yeah, thank you very much. [clears throat] I actually love this forma, because
I think you guys are helping me prove a point right now. Brooke never believes I can pay
attention to her while I'm working on my laptop at the same time. I think you guys are going
to prove that point. Help me prove that point. I appreciate that. Thank you. I'm James. My
wife Brooke--
>>Brooke: I'm Brooke.
>>James: We're both New Yorkers. Well, currently New Yorkers at least. We both grew up down
South. We live here in the city. Actually just down the street in the village. I teach
full-time at the Institute of Culinary Education, some of you guys may know the cooking school
up on 23rd street. And I used to, I was one of the sous chefs in the private dining room
at Restaurant Daniel before coming to the school to teach. So I've kind of got a chef
and fine dining sort of background. And Brooke is a writer—
>>Brooke: I'm a writer.
>>James: and former journalist.
>> Brooke: I used to work for Fox News Channel and quickly decided that that wasn't going
to be for me. So I transitioned into my real passion which were writing and food. And I
published a novel three years ago, Belle in the Big Apple about a southern girl moving
to New York City. And then I happened to meet this one and was able to take my passion for
culinary to a different level because he was patient enough to work with me. And from that,
we kind of began journey to write this book which we realize we never set out to write
a book for newlyweds. It's something that kind of came naturally. Because like we say
in the introduction it's kind of like the mixed tape. The foodie mixed tape of our lives.
It was just one song after other of representative moments. It was one recipe after the other
that we were cooking for each other in our first year as both parents and newlyweds.
Things happened a little out of order so we began our big journey all at once. So we really
had to get in the kitchen because, you know, we couldn't take out an infant. We really
had to get in there and figure out how to make amazing meals for each other and for
our tiny family.
>>James: Yeah, so and the book just married and cooking is really our story. It's certainly
a book for everyone. It's not explicitly a newlywed cookbook. I think there's good things
in there for every day for everyone. It's full of just great recipes. Things that are
really useful but we can point to almost every recipe in that book and remember a time when
we first started dating five years ago on up through we pushed send for the last time
to our publishers where we remembered these meals, preparing them together, enjoying them
together some sort of story. So they're really part of us and I think the title of the book
comes as much from our story as it does. Mark our intended audience.
>> And he gets things kind of fancy or he enjoys doing things fancy from his background.
I kind of bring him down and say, "honey, we're not making foie gras every night. We're
not doing country liver pate again. We're not going to have eggs and bacon every day
for breakfast. We're going to try to make this a healthy, easy, elegant cookbook. He
also brings a different level of cooking to it. For those of you who are Food Network
fans, if you have time to watch the Food Network, I don't know. He was the Food Network two-time
Chop Champion. So he loves crazy ingredients, time constraints, lights, cameras. So I have
to kind of tame him down for things.
>> James: I enjoy the challenge.
>> Brooke: He enjoys the challenge.
>> James: Like you.
>> Brooke: That's right. So what we wanted, you know, help you with today or talk to you
about or inspire you is, you know, with you and your partners, both of you probably working
or with your roommates, whatever it may be. You absolutely can get in the kitchen let's
say three, four, five nights a week. That's what this book was written for, getting you
in the kitchen. And we think a great place to start is actually Page 45 in the book and
that is our After Work Apps section. And it is kind of we love happy hour. Of course New
York has amazing happy hours especially this time of year. We love going out for little
bites to eat, great glasses of wine or cocktails. Not like it add up but sometimes it's just
nice to chill out in your house especially for those of you who have children. You kind
of have to get back. You have to get back to the nanny, get back to the babysitter or
just get back to see your little ones. So why not just throw your own happy hour at
home? It's also a great motivator if you're not quite into the cooking thing yet. You
have this amazing cafeteria. I would say I would never bring my own lunch. I don't blame
you. I wouldn't be packing an egg salad sandwich. I would be enjoying the food truck and everything
else. But with the apps, it's great because you can make them the night before. It kind
of coaxes you to come back home and enjoy a drink and an hors d'oeuvre. And it kind
of gives you something to go on and actually cook your meal that night. Because if you
come home, you and your partner are starving. You want food then. So if things aren't prepared
for you, you're going to forget. You're going to scrap your idea of cooking right, and head
out for the takeout. So this way you got a little bit in your belly. You're going to
be happy, maybe a glass of wine and then you're going to move on and maybe think about cooking
>> James: And so, as you look through those recipes, they're really really simple. It's
the idea you can make any of these in 30 minutes on a Sunday afternoon or Saturday. Kind of
whatever you had a little bit of time. And they're all made to keep really well in the
refrigerator. So whether it's, you know, having a little happy hour with some friends to your
apartment after you get off work or what Brooke was saying just knowing that you've got something
ready to eat when you get home so you won't stop at the deli so you don't stop off somewhere
just grab something while you're going home. It's something to nibble on while you're waiting.
What we always try to do because we're both very busy and running. If I'm at school and
Brooke's working and then with the baby. We're both kind of running around in different places.
Really, that end of the day is one of our few chances to be together.
>> Brooke: And who doesn't love 5 o'clock? Let's be honest. It's the time to have a drink.
So you might as well have something delicious to eat with it, right? [giggling]
>> James: Absolutely. For us kind of finding that reason or that excuse or that motivation
to get home and cook your own meal and start your own meal. I think that's one really great
way to help yourself get into the mode of doing it. It's that already have something
ready to eat that's simple and satisfying but enough to keep you going. And then, you
know, second -- another.
>>Female #1: I was just going to ask -- sorry to interrupt. So tell us about when you come
home from work. What should you have in your house right now? It's early spring and it's
5 o'clock and I know when I come home from 5 to 7 I can't think.
>>James: [chuckle]
>>Female #1: So how can we prepare to come home for the blind spot between 5 and 7? What
would be a good thing to have in the pantry, have handy so that we don't have to run to
the deli. That's why I end up. I end up with an empty refrigerator and that's where the
pizza arrives.
>> James: Perfect. You took me into the next step. Really you guys are a great location
here. We spend a lot of time at Chelsea market, shopping there. The shops are fantastic. Another
great motivator to go home and cook something is just go buy something. Whether it's whatever
looks good and beautiful and seasonal right now. Certainly asparagus is everywhere and
asparagus is beautiful and they have New Jersey asparagus at the Manhattan Fruit Exchange.
I was right there yesterday and it's just perfect. I think if you, you know, something
that you really love. One ingredient that you really really like. Go buy it and just
put it in your fridge even if you don't have a plan for it. Because then as you start thinking
about it in there as you're working. Wait a second, asparagus recipes. let's Google
some. And you know find a great asparagus recipe. You know, you start thinking about
it and then you're like wait a second, I just spent five bucks on an asparagus. I spend
another five bucks on a sandwich and let that asparagus go bad. I better figure out something
to make with it and get it home. I feel like I say this every season. This is my favorite
time of the year to cook. Whenever the seasons change and new stuff becomes available. I
always get so excited.
>> Brooke: But there's so much available now. Strawberries, asparagus, little spring onions--
>>James: Peas and carrots. Turnips are one of my favorite things in spring that I think
a lot of people don't think about it. People think of it more as a hearty winter vegetable.
You get these little beautiful white turnips radish size and we have those right there
at the Chelsea Market, Manhattan Fruit Exchange right now. But it's so much fun, here in New
York to go and visit all of our green markets and just walk around. You know, that's where
some of the recipes in our book came from was just from sort of wandering around the
green market, grab a couple of--
>> Brooke: What was fresh. What we felt like that day. But there is, 5 to 7 o'clock period
where you go either way. So it's great if you have those stalks or spears of asparagus
just waiting for you. Maybe a half dozen farm eggs and you could do a great just fried egg
on top of blanched asparagus, you know, a little pecorino on top, something super, super
>>James: And you gotta have that Ham or bacon too.
>>Brooke: Ham or Bacon, he puts that in everything.[laughing] There's no getting around that. And then also
we get asked about the necessary kitchen equipment. There really is so much out there.
>> James: Before we move on I just want to say one other thing on keeping you going or
helping you do it from 5 to 7. What we often do is, if we're making something, you know,
we make a lot of it. So if we were going to grill or roast some chicken breasts or roast
the whole chicken, we might do two whole chickens. We might do six chicken breasts even though
there's two of us. Then you have great, good, tasty grilled chicken just sitting in your
fridge and it's so easy to make a quick salad or to toss it into a pasta or to--
>>Brooke: Yeah, don't cook for one night. Cook for three nights. Cook in larger portions.
And then our next book is about kind of transforming each night. And go that you've made the first
night. So you have this kind of one base recipe and then by adding fresh produce and new spices
it's transformed each day without a lot of muss and fuss. My mother did cook seven nights
a week my entire childhood, bless her. But she was in the kitchen all the time. And we
just don't have that luxury.
>>James: That's another full-time job to do that. Don't if you will fool yourself and
think you have to be like they do on TV and whip something up completely from scratch
every single day. Kind of embrace that ability to use something, you know, to utilize,
>>Brooke: Stretch it.
>>James: Make the most of it. If you're just going for one or two, that one bunch of asparagus
may be more than you're going to eat in one night. So blanch all your asparagus.
>>Brooke: Blanch means
>>James: Boiling in salted water to get it just cooked through and then throw in some
ice water so it stays bright green. So you might have that with a fried egg and some
ham or bacon one night for dinner. But then the next day you may chop it up and toss it
with some pasta and feta cheese.
>> Brooke: And Mint and peas makes a great salad.
>>James: Which is in there somewhere.
>>Brooke: Which is in the book.
>> James: Grilled chicken. Kind of toss that. There's always something in our refrigerator.
>> Brooke: That inspires us to create it to, you know, get in there and cook. It's never
just champagne and mustard. Ha ha ha. [giggling]
>> James: No. It's at least orange juice for our daughter, juice and bananas and yogurt.
>> Brooke: But the next thing also in the beginning we have a list of kind of can't
miss gotta have kitchen appliances. I think it's so overwhelming walking into a Williams
Sonoma and the store is so beautiful and we were cooking there last night. Yesterday we
cooked on the Today Show and then in the evening we did a signing and demo at Williams Sonoma.
And I could have left with 5,000 dollars worth of fun, beautiful kitchen gear. Aside from
having no space and no time in the apartment, there's really no purpose. Especially for
starting out cooks. We kind of what a top 5, top what? Ten list of fun can't miss kind
of inexpensive things, right? He first taught me about something as simple as kitchen tongs.
When you are blanching your asparagus, how are you going to reach in and get them? All
of these things can be intimidating. Oh, my God I'm going to burn myself. I don't know
how to get it out. Am I going to pour the whole pot of water out? No, you have these
simple tools that he's been using all of what? Your professional life in kitchens that the
home cook might not think to use that make your life so much easier. We love a good set
of tongs. A good microplane zester for grating garlic. People get intimidated by how to properly
chop up a garlic. They don't want to do it. You get a mircoplane zester. They get intimidated
by these 600 dollar knife sets. Don't buy a seven piece knife set. Go out and get one
good lightweight Japanese blade chef's knife or maybe three. Jamie favors three. You favor
three. A paring knife, a serrated knife, chef's knife. That's really all you need in the beginning.
So I think the less you spend in the beginning, the less likely you are to be let down. Because
it's not like you made this 5,000 dollar investment and things aren't turning out perfectly. You
made a small investment. You're learning, you're working and you can always add on.
The one thing we think you should invest in is a good Cuisinart. For a lot of our dips
and the after work apps you're going to need a good Cuisinart. For a lot of great soups,
homemade pestos that are going to keep throughout the week to toss with pasta and chicken when
you come home at the end of the day. That's definitely something worth investing in. But
there are really few things. A great wooden cutting board. Go across to Bowery Trading
Company. What is it called?
>>James: Bowery Kitchen Supply.
>>Brooke: Bowery kitchen supply in Chelsea market and get a great 50 dollar cutting board
and kind of start from there, right?
>> James: Right.
>> Brooke: Another thing that we say is don't try to make filet mignon with PB and J skills.
Think about what your skill level is you're starting off with. But we have the perfect
book for that. [laughing] But when you're looking at Epicurius or you're looking online
and you get stars in your eyes and we all want to be Mario Batali and you pick a really,
really difficult recipe. Maybe it's the second thing you've really ever tried to cook by
yourself. It's probably not going to turn out to be fantastic. So why don't you start
out in our book with the skirt steak with scallion potato cakes. Skirt steak is inexpensive.
You mess it up. Okay. You wasted five dollars. Say you had bought bone in ribeye for four.
You mess that out, you're out 85 dollars. Chances are when you mess up the rib eye,
the next thing you're going to do is get takeout. You mess up the skirt steak, you might go
out and buy a second skirt steak and try it out. So the less like I said with all of this
the tools, the food, the less monetarily you invest in the beginning, the more likely you
are to succeed and kinda continue.
>>James: It all takes practice. Just like anything. I think to get good at anything
in life, you got to do it. So, you know, don't be fooled by TV that makes it all look so
easy. They wave their hands around, pull something out from beneath the counter. Yeah, it's just
that easy. It's not always just that easy. It's not necessarily that hard. But it takes
a little practice. It takes some doing. You know, I was very fortunate kind of throughout
my career to be able to make a lot of mistakes. Starting out cooking and actually I started
out as a dishwasher when I was 16 years old and worked my way up through the ranks. As
a teenager cooking, I got to work at a place where we were always allowed to make ourselves
lunch. We weren't able to pull out the good steaks and just grill them all for ourselves.
But to be honest when we had the time we could make ourselves whatever we wanted to eat.
And I was getting really into cooking and I was reading a lot and I'd go through books
and see all these things and try to go do them the next day at work. I remember the
first time I tried to make risotto, I made it are orzo pasta. I just didn't know the
difference. I remember the word ended in O. That's pretty much the shape. I think this
is it. So my first batch of risotto ever was made with pasta.
>>Brooke: Not rice.
>>James: And I learned from there, you know. The chefs were like, "Okay, it tastes good,
but this is no, this is not risotto. It's not even close. First of all, it's rice not
pasta." We went on from there. Making mistakes and expecting mistakes and knowing it's not
always going to be perfect. But you enjoy it anyway. And have fun with the process.
That's for one of us the most important things is just having fun with it and enjoying the
process going through it together.
>> Brooke: And it's great at the end of the day I think we're all prone, maybe it's your
computer, get in front of the television, zone out. Kind of stick one person with chef
duty while the other gets to relax. Well, you really can relax together in the kitchen.
Pour yourselves a glass of wine. Get in there. Learn together. Be a little creative. Use
our recipes as kind of the base. And then, throw in your favorite things. But try to
use that space as something fun and not a chore. Which cooking definitely can be or
it can seem like it is. If you have bad recipes. But if you have fantastic recipes that are
going to turn out great time and again, ha ha [laughing] you're going to enjoy it.
>> James: Oops, you have a question?
>>Female #2: So do you have any suggestions for if you have like a disparity between the
cooking skills. Like--
>> Brooke: You're really good and your boyfriend's really bad? [laughing]
>> Female #2: My husband is really bad. And I don't want to be in there like, "no, don't
do it like that, you're chopping your fingers off or your overcooking something." I don't
want to be like the kitchen meister but at the same time I really don't want to eat burnt
>> James: [laughing]
>>Brooke: That was a good question. One for him since he is by far better than I am. He
is the chef. I am the cook.
>> James: Yeah, we say whenever you're trying to cook together work together always play
to your strengths—
>>Brooke:Bbut if there are no strengths, what do you do? [laughing]
>>James: But if there are no strengths, what do you do? You know, I think it's the same
thing. You know, kind of start out small. Just kind of give him little things to do.
>>Brooke: That clove of garlic in the microplane zester that you just gone out and bought and
just tell him to grate it. Or give him a block of cheese in the box grater.
>> James: Now is he really ambitious? Does he want to do it at all?
>>Brooke: Or is more than you let him?
>> Female #2: Um, Now, I mean he, he wants to help. He doesn't want me to be the only
person cooking and doing stuff.
>>Brooke: That's great.
>> Female #2: He's excited about stuff. He is successful in a couple of things -- however
it takes like four times as long than necessary. Great on a Saturday but not Tuesday night.
>> Brooke: Not Tuesday night.
>> Female #2: I have to wait until ten O'clock—
>> Brooke: Well, this is I guess when like prepping, no one likes to hear it but when
prepping ahead. And this is one of our big pieces of advice the night before kind of
clean your vegetables or trim your meat or dice things. In the culinary world "mise en
place" getting everything kind of like restaurant chefs do. So if you're excited about this
Wednesday dinner you all are going to make say "Honey, well maybe you should get Tuesday
>> James: Tuesday night after we finish dinner, before we even clean up, let's just go and
have this stuff and we can chop up some of this stuff for Wednesday.
>>Brooke: Right.
>>James: You can go sit down and relax and let him take an hour and a half to chop an
>>Brooke: But that is great. You don't want to squash—
>> Female #2: It never takes an hour and a half to cut an onion. An hour and a half
>> Brooke: We also teach couples cooking at ICE. If you want to sign up for those. Ya'll
can come on.
>> James: Bring him in. Bring him in. I'll help straighten him out.
>>Brooke: Some of those are fundamentals of cutting up, properly cutting up an onion.
Properly doing garlic. Things like that you do need learn once and learn them well to
move on.
>>James: I think learning some base knife skills is really, really important. You know,
like Brooke said, for we do the couples classes up at ICE up at the school. They're a lot
of fun. It's kind of a fun thing to do. Then you can just sort of stand back and say, "Yeah,
I told you. I told you that's what you're supposed to do." Don't ever do it. But you
know some base knife skills. That I think once you get it down and learn how to do it
and understand how to use a knife properly and how to chop things up properly, it really
makes the process more enjoyable because sometimes that's like the hard tedious part. And if
it takes you an hour and a half to chop an onion, you're not going to be really motivated
to do much else. But when you learn those things and they're again, it's just something
that takes some practice. But the skills, the concept of the skills is really quite
simple. Does anybody else have? Yeah, please.
>>Female #3: Do you have in your book anything a child friendly recipes or if a child can
participate? Are they simple enough for.
>> Brooke: I think a lot of them are.
>>James: They definitely are. Our daughter is not quite there yet. She just turned two.
>> Brooke: How old are yours?
>> Female #3: 6 and a half.
>> Brooke: Okay. So she can.
>> James: You know what? I think there's.
>> Brooke: Our everyday's dinner's chapter is just great. These weeknights we're talking
about. I think everyday dinner is very simple and general that chapter to look at for these
recipes that you certainly can do with a child.
>> James: The soups and sandwiches. There's some soups and sandwiches and a few salads
in there that I think are really good. A lot of them a lot of times are using the salads
like shaved cheese where you just take the vegetable peeler and you peel the cheese.
I think those are grating cheese and doing those kinds of things are always good things
for kids.
>> Brooke: Things without heat, hahaha. [laughting]
>> James: Yeah, I think stirring or mixing is always good. So in the breakfast chapter
some of the things like pancakes and muffins—
>>Brooke: and muffins—
>>James: and those kinds of things are really great healthy muffin recipe in there. We just
had a bout of sickness in our house and our daughter was a little sick and wasn't really
wanting to eat much. And I was thinking we need to make, she loves cookies of course.
As long as we tell her it's a cookie and it's a little bit sweet and she's convinced. I
was just thinking we needed to make a batch of muffins and they're healthy and a little
bit sweet and pretty satisfying.
>>Brooke: The granola in here also. I love my granola recipe, girls and that's a lot
of fun. Throwing in the different nuts, coconut, dried fruit, mixing it. That's a lot of fun
you can't go wrong. You can put more fruit than you need. More seeds.
>> James: Have you found that your child, boy or girl?
>>Female #3: Daughter.
>>James: Your daughter, is she more interested in eating when she gets to help you out with
>> Female #3: She likes to help out just in general. She usually does the baking.
>> Brooke: Right.
>>Female #3: She doesn't do skillet or anything like anything with stove related.
>>James: Right.
>> Female #3: But I'm thinking , I want her to be more healthy eater at least. I'm thinking
to be involved more in dinner cooking she might be.
>> James: Definitely. You know I think-
>>Brooke: The spring pasta we're actually just talking about the penne with asparagus,
mint, peas, feta has a lot of great greens in it. It's very seasonal. It's perfect for
right now. Let me find the page. That could be a lot of fun, I think, for a little one.
>>James: That's a lot of, you could do a lot of stuff at the stove. Cook the pasta, cook
the peas. It's all just boiling water. So you put on one big pot of water. Throw the
pasta in, get it cooked through, put it in the colander--
>>Brooke: It's page 90 in the book: spring pasta.
>>James: And then drop your asparagus and peas in the boiling water. Scoop them out.
Let them all cool a bit and then put them in a bowl and you're going to toss it with
some mints and some vinegar and feta cheese and some scallions . You're just kind of toss
that all together. You can kind of have all those things separate and let her add them
in mix it up and crumble up the cheese. Those are good things for little hands to do. Lots
of beautiful fresh spring vegetables that are all really, really great right now.
>> Brooke: Do ya'll cook a lot ya'll when you go home? He says no; she says yes.
>>James: I don't know how you could working here. I don't know I ever would. It's a very
nice setup you guys got here.
>>Brooke: Definitely.
>>James: I'm jealous. I just want a scooter to ride around. I could get one push before
I bump into a wall at our apartment, at our office.
>> Female #4: Tell us about how you would cook for a small family for a special occasion.
Special occasion with adults would be the big rib eye or whatever but now we have little
kids and not so much time. How do you suggest planning that day? Because sometimes to cook
for like people cook for another couple with their little kid coming over on Saturday.
You need three or four hours to prep. How would you divide up that three or four hours?
Would you divide it so everything was ready when they show up or would you perhaps include
the other family so all of you are working? What are your thoughts on that?
>>Brooke: I think first and foremost in those three or four hours, you really should shop
a different day. Fabulous location, you're right here at Chelsea market after work one
day and get your produce, your groceries. Right? So that's already taken out of that
prep time. Then, yes we actually and the book is divided into two sections which we haven't
even talked to you about. There is life as we know it which is a lot of these everyday
type foods. And the second section is new traditions about you and your partner and
your little family maybe starting new traditions of your own not just Christmas or Hanukkah
and Thanksgiving, new ones. And in several of these menus we talk about getting your
guests involved because that can be really fun. We do love doing pizzas at home, homemade
pizzas, you know, whole-wheat flour crusts. We use a lot of fresh veggies. Pizza is very
fun for the kids. Stretch and kneed the dough. We talk about one in the back in our Brussels
sprout salad with a great homemade pesto about everybody helping, you know, clean the Brussels
>>James: That's one of my favorite menus and recipe kind of occasion ideas from the second
half of the book. What do we call it?
>> Brooke: New traditions.
>>James: Right. It's the menu's called the holiday get away from the family.
>> Brooke: When you go home.
>> James: Because Christmas time typically for us it means going back home to where the
parents are.
>>Brooke: Page 299 in the book.
>> James: And usually mom or aunts or uncles somebody is still going to be hosting the
big holiday dinner. And when you've been home for three or four days and you have pretty
much all you can handle of family and your ready to just kind of get away from them get
with friends. This is like a really fun menu to do with friends. Of course very seasonal
and prime for November, December. And you know, the idea is that you have this great
salad made with Brussels sprouts.
>> Brooke: A sweet potato and brussels sprouts salad with parmesan pecan pesto.
>>James: It's kind of tedious to pick all those brussels sprout leaves and it will take
you awhile to do it but we say just have a batch of cocktails made and when all your
friends get together give everyone a bowl of brussels sprouts and have them pick the
brussels sprout leaves—
>>Brooke: Make them work for it.
>>James: while you guys catch up and chat and sip your cocktails so then you're ready
to go. It depends on what you're making.
>> Brooke: The key is that we teach in our classes though you want to get them involved
but don't actually think they want to make it from start to finish with you. Like, when
you have this pizza party. Don't actually give them a cup of water, flour and to make
the dough. You want to have a lot of it prepped ahead. It's just going to be easier and more
enjoyable for everyone. So to answer Kate's question directly what would we say? Be well
>>James: Yeah, be well prepared. One of the things we always teach in our cooking classes
up at ICE is a lot of times it's nice in the menus. We always do one seafood and one meat
whether it be pork or chicken or beef or whatever as part of a dinner party menu. One of the
great tricks is being in New York City -- at least us -- if you cook fish in your apartment,
you're going to know for awhile. Most people in your hall are going to know you cooked
some fish. That smell can just kind of hang for awhile. So a great trick for doing, you
know, fish for dinner party or having friends over is just actually just sear the fish on
one side. Get it really nice brown in the pan and then take it out and put it onto baking
pan other side completly raw. And then, you can light some candles, open the windows,
turn on a fan and clear out the apartment. Then when you're ready to actually have your
dinner when you're ready to serve all you have to do is throw that tray of fish into
the oven. Takes about five minutes if the oven is at 425 degrees. The fish will be cooked
through perfectly. It will have that perfect it won't look like sad baked fish. I would
say cafeteria food, but you guys don't have sad cafeteria food here. It would look like
a beautiful, roasted piece of fish but you're not going to deal with the smell, the oil
splatter and all of that mess. Pre-cooking thing is such a great investigate thing to
>> Brooke: That's a chef's trick that we do in the restaurant.
>>James: That's what most restaurants do in the reality of it. When you think about when
you go to a restaurant sit down and order a bowl of risotto and in eight minutes, the
bowl of risotto is at your table. Start to finish that's a 35 minute process. So the
risotto is 75 percent cooked—
>>Brooke:In the morning
>>James: In the morning, miday and then it's cooled down and held in the refrigerator and
then when you order it they just heat up a pot and . And there's nothing wrong with that
at all. We kind of always have this romantic image
>>Brooke: Fresh.
>>James: of all these things being made from scratch.
>>Brooke: In the moment.
>> James: But pre-cooking things having things prepared. Like we said, having things ready
in your fridge is really a wonderful way to go about it.
>>Brooke: Another great thing—
>James: And it's the reality I think for all of us. Kind of the way we live our lives and
the time constraints we have for cooking and working these days.
>> I think it's also really fun when you have people over and we think it's really easy
to have bottles of wine. Girls love wine. We love to get with the girls, eat cheese,
crackers, drink wine. It's great. In the book we have several chapters dedicated to cocktails,
house drinks. And if you're on a budget, it actually works out to be more economical to
make great house cocktails if you think about a person's going to have, each guest is going
to have two or three glasses apiece, think of how many bottles of wine you're going to
go through. As opposed to you buy one nice bottle of what would be liquor and you jazz
it up with some fresh juices. We like our rosemary fresh lemonade infused with rosemary
and vodka. All of that is so much more inexpensive and you also get these big points for being
a very kind of inventive creative hostess when all you're doing is just following our
book. [laughing]It's a great touch. It's personal to make those drinks and have those ready
instead of just wine. And like I said, it's easier on the budget also.
>> Female #5: Hi guys.
>>James: Hey.
>>Female #5: So sometimes cooking in New York is really uninspiring not just because of
the budget or the expensive food but because your space itself is so uninspiring. It's
small or ugly or cramped or your sharing it with a roommate--
>>Brooke: Bad ventilation.
>>Female #5: All those things. So I'm wondering if you have tips about how to make the space
itself more appealing so you want to get on in there. So whether it be tips on storage,
tips on making it look prettier, keeping it clean. Sometimes I don't want to go in the
kitchen because I don't want to be in there. I don't want to spend two hours in that room.
Sometimes being in the kitchen is because it's not fun.
>> Brooke: First of all, removing clutter from the counters, having nice clear clean
counters. Think, are you actually using that toaster oven? Do you actually use the microwave
that much? Are you actually using the toaster? Different little things that perhaps can be
moved away so you have this clear counter space. What else honey? Mr. Organization in
the kitchen.
>>James: Yeah, I'm the one--
>> You are.
>> James: Usually in charge of that typically. I mean, it is really challenging i think in
New York. Counter space is almost always at a premium. So you do your best to maximize
it. We have two different size cutting boards we use depending on what's going on really
what we're working on. Which cutting board you're going to pull out. You know, keeping
just things really -- I mean, just keep things organized.
>> Female #5: I guess do you guys turn on music when you're in the kitchen? Do you decorate?
I mean, the last place I think of you know when I'm at IKEA or target is decorations
for the kitchen. But do you guys have photo frames--
>> Brooke: Well, one great thing actually for organization is we have what is it called?
A knife.
>>James: The magnetic knife strip.
>>Brooke: Knife strip
>>James: So the knifes hang up on the wall.
>> Brook: So that's one less thing also on your counter. You have the strip up there.
The knives are arranged nicely. The Container Store we do love. We do have a really big
kind of pantry so we're lucky for that.
>> James: Yeah. We have, you know, just having things accessible and not having to dig through
cabinets. Which may seem goes against what we just said. But actually in the book here
in the very beginning there is a list of all the tools you should have and how to use them.
And they're organized by where you should store them. There's things that should be
in the drawer, you have one drawer that you pull out that has your peeler and whatever
else in it. And then, we always keep a little crock or container right next to the stove
that has mixing tools: a whisk and a spatula and the spoons, metal spoon and a wooden spoon
and a little scooper.
>>Brooke: Your tongs.
>> James: For scooping things out of the stove. So those things you would tend to use at the
stove are there. And I think sort of I think that's actually a really good guide. We spent
a good bit of time--
>>Brooke: It begins on page can have 5, where to keep things.
>> James: Putting that together. But having the specific sort of stove tools. Keep them
by the stove. Keep the things by the drawer. Keep the mixing bowls together in one cabinet.
If you can just dedicate a few spaces to that. And you know don't keep a drawer full of takeout,
because you know you're going to get fresh takeout menus every single day at your apartment
>> Brooke: Dedicate that drawer to new kitchen tools.
>> James: That's right.
>> Brooke: We love music. I love a glass of wine when I cook, um, sometime.
>> James: We're actually very fortunate too. We have a kitchen that just has little island
that looks out over our living room.
>> Brooke: Otherwise our daughter would never see us if our kitchen was in a different part
of the apartment or if it were closed off, she would never see us. Luckily we do have
an open kitchen to the living room.
>> James: We watch her scribble on the pillows and chalk like she was just doing this morning**
>>Brooke: Morning.
>>James: before we left.
>>Female: #6: Hi.
>>Brooke: Hi.
>>Female #6: The thing that I always have trouble with is grocery shopping. Like I'll
go out Sunday and be like Oh yeah, these veggies this looks great. And then I'll come home
on a Monday night and I don't know how to cook this. I don't know how to make this and
I'll realize I need ten other ingredients I didn't actually buy. So do you guys plan
out a menu every week? Do you find yourself running out?
>> Brooke: We keep staples in the pantry which is also in the beginning of the book with
the tools. Things you should have all the time. Then you can just work from and throw
in fresh things in addition to that. So we begin with a well-stocked pantry. Which is
of course easy to say, but it makes a lot of sense to go ahead. Always have not just
the flour and the sugar but anchovies for one of our pasta sauces. To always have the
chicken broth. To have those things. Have a very basic spice cabinet. And then what
else honey?
>>James: Yeah, and you know the other thing I think don't feel so bound to a recipe. You
>> Brooke: Easy for him to say. Easy for a Chop Champion to say.Just whips it up at the
last minute. I'm more like you. I like to follow a recipe.
>>James: If you have one or two ingredients, doesn't mean you can't make it. If you don't
have a teaspoon of that spice, you can go without it.
>>Brooke: Right.
>>James: It will be okay. You can kind of, you know, work around those things. But we
definitely do plan. I mean, I actually have a list in my back, I'm going to Chelsea market
as soon as we finish here. I have a list in my back pocket of things kind of think about
what we want to make or what we're going to make. And make out a list. But --
>>Brooke: And menu planning is really great. You can think and plan out just three meals
or maybe start with two. Do not be overly ambitious because you might go out with your
girlfriends or husband or boyfriend or what else. But make sure you have two and make
sure you get all the ingredients for those two. And that can be your meal planning. And
then you can plan on two nights of leftovers. That's already four nights covered and do
cook that on Sunday. That will last you to Wednesday. Meal planning, it sounds like kind
of what a suburban housewife would do. Totally unnecessary and way too organized but it's
great to do. It's already in your head when you're at work or walking home or getting
on the subway. What am I going to eat? This is all so overwhelming. Well, you know because
you decided on Sunday and you're taken care of until Friday. And what we were talking
about with Kate, basically whatever you cook for yourself is going to be more healthful
than almost anything you get in a restaurant or takeout. You know exactly what's going
into it. Whether you're watching your figure or just trying to be healthy. It's great to
know everything that's going into your food. Or you can take things out our of recipes.
You don't want so much cheese or sour cream that he added. You can take it out and be
fine with it. We love our takeout also, but once you get used to eating very healthfully
at home and then you have this takeout food or restaurant food, it's "wow, it's so salty,
wow, it's so sweet or wow, it's so heavy."
>> James: And there's also substitutes. When you get that great Thai recipe and it calls
for fish sauce. You're not going to buy a whole bottle of fish sauce just to make one
>>Brooke: Soy sauce.
>>James: one time. Soy sauce is a good substitute. You pull out the little packets that you saved
up from your sushi takeout that you saved up for the last three months.
>> Brooke: Also by the way for these questions things like this we have a website by the
same name. Honestly, we always answer questions. So for any of you guys feel free to write
us and ask questions like about "I don't have fish sauce, what can I do Jamie?" [laughing]
You can write us and we'd love to answer all your questions.
>>Female Presenter: Any other questions? I think that would be it. Thank you so much
for your time, we really appreciate it.
>>James: Great, well thank you guys.
>>Brooke: Thank you guys for coming.